General Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Are you allowed to bluff In Scrabble?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (11466points) June 15th, 2017

If your opponent doesn’t challenge then is it ok? In general.

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20 Answers

Patty_Melt's avatar

Sure. The rules state a play is legal unless it is challenged and the challenge proves out.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Oh! Bogus words are a bluff?

ragingloli's avatar

Of course not. All words are checked by Susie Dent in the dictionary corner.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Absolutely yes. You can make up any word you want. If it goes unchallenged, it’s fine.

Zaku's avatar

Yes, you are allowed to put down anything. Other players have until the next player plays to call a challenge, in which all words scored in the last play are looked up. If no one challenges, the play stands.

zenvelo's avatar

Yarl, you may blunster, as long as none of the other players chengers your play.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes, you can bluff, as the others have said.

But is bluffing morally right? Is it worth selling your honest soul for a couple of points? Can your conscience accept and rationalize that you essentially lied…. just to win a game?

I play a lot of scrabble, but I never bluff. It’s just not in me to do so. It’s a moral thing.

CWOTUS's avatar

That is between you and your qi.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Word of warning, my Canadian friend, I don’t bluff, and I know when to challenge.
Okay, my spelling suffers since brain damage sustained in an accident, but I am still a powerful Scrabble player.
One of my favorite Scrabble moments happened when I was in the Navy.
I played often, and I was known as ruthless. I heard there was a new guy on base, a snipe (mechanic), who played for money and won a lot.
I found him. I challenged him.
At one point I played “flange”. He challenged the play!
I beat him rough. After three games he decided that he’d lost enough money and when he played me it would be for fun, not nickels.

Zaku's avatar

I’ve known certain players to not only bluff, but to use cuteness appeals to try to dissuade a challenge.

Pinguidchance's avatar

Argot a word for it and the word is squabble.

kritiper's avatar

The way I play the game is to use real words at all times. Anything else, legal or not, is, IMO, cheating.

LostInParadise's avatar

I am not very knowledgeable about Scrabble beyond knowing the basic rules, but I wonder if this situation could ever arise, which would be similar to a bluff in poker, and would be perfectly legal.

Suppose that you make a move that indicates that you have a high scoring letter, which you don’t really have. For example, you make a play that exposes a U that could be used for a Q. Your objective is to force your opponent to create a low scoring word with the U to prevent you from using you from being able to use a Q, which would also open the board up for your next move.

CWOTUS's avatar

Although I respect your strategy and intent, @kritiper, no one’s recollection – or spelling, for that matter – is perfect, and it is a poor strategy to refuse to play a high-scoring word because of niggling uncertainty about its spelling, and a consideration that it might not be perfect. Since it’s illegal (according to the rules of the game) to look up the word in a dictionary prior to playing it, the better strategy would be to make the play confidently, “knowing” that the spelling is correct, and in that way daring the opponent to risk an uncertain challenge if his own spelling is not up to par.

I also don’t knowingly play words that I know to be false, to be Proper Nouns or Names (and therefore forbidden) or to be misspelled – because I play with good players and knowledgeable wordsmiths who WILL challenge misspellings – but I also won’t shy from playing a word that I “believe” to be correct, even though I’m not 100% positive. If it’s a good play and I think that I can pull it off, then I’ll make it – with confidence! – and look it up after the game is over. But if I’m looking for a potential 50+ point word play that depends on whether or not “AIN” is a legal word (it is), then I’ll take the chance, make the play and learn from the experience.

When playing Scrabble against hard-core, determined and experienced players, one learns to make the best scores not by playing the “intersecting” words that are the defining mark of the game, that is, “T-words” that share only one letter as a word crosses another word, but by laying words against each other, which means an extraordinary number of two-letter and three-letter words. Although I used to beat my daughter pretty handily at this game even after she graduated from college, she gives me a run for the brass ring now, since she has actually memorized all of the legal two-letter and three-letter words, sounds and dipthongs that Scrabble permits as “legal words”. It’s hard to win against her now, because she has taken my best moves. Fortunately, my vocabulary is still somewhat wider than hers, though, and sometimes I have to take advantage with a FRAMMIS or two. (No, that’s not a word in Scrabble.)

We’re not talking “life ethics” here; we’re talking about a board game. And games should be played as games, using whatever strategy is permitted by the rules.

Personally, I’d prefer to have the rules changed to include a requirement that the player should be able to DEFINE every word played, though.

Zaku's avatar

Clever tactic @LostInParadise .

That makes good ethical sense to me, @CWOTUS .

Pinguidchance's avatar

You’d have to be a real sowpods to complain.

kritiper's avatar

I could let a weird “word” be allowed if all players also agreed.
Allowing certain “words” to pass just because someone didn’t catch them would be like hiding aces when playing poker.

CWOTUS's avatar

But … that’s the game of Scrabble, @kritiper. There’s no “consensus” on weird words; either someone challenges and then wins or loses the challenge, or it stands despite its weirdness and the other players’ doubt.

And your analogy is totally flawed. The game is played in the open; there is no “hiding” of certain words. Either players are paying attention – and skilled in the language, including spelling and vocabulary – or they are not. Hiding tiles, on the other hand, or sneaking in spares from another set, now that would be cheating. Bluffing is bluffing, whether it’s done in Scrabble or poker … or warfare. And it is equally legitimate in each of those venues.

Don’t be a sowpods about this.

kritiper's avatar

It’s the way my mom played, @CWOTUS , and it seemed the right thing/way to do/play when I played. House rules.
Honesty is always the best policy!
But I’ll keep what you say in mind should you and I ever draw tiles.

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